One school, four bishops

Future bishop: Mark Eckman, South Hills Catholic HS Class of 1977

With the appointment of Father Mark Eckman as an auxiliary bishop in the Diocese of Pittsburgh, four future bishops have graduated from Seton LaSalle Catholic High School and a predecessor school.

Earlier this year, 1980 Seton LaSalle alumnus David Bonnar, a priest of the diocese for 32 years, was ordained Bishop of Youngstown. Archbishop Bernard Hebda of Saint Paul-Minneapolis graduated from South Hills Catholic, which merged with Elizabeth Seton Catholic High School to form Seton LaSalle. And Bishop Donald Lippert, a Capuchin serving in Mendi, Papua New Guinea, also graduated from South Hills Catholic.

Seton LaSalle president Lisa Osterhaus and principal Lauren Martin, interviewed on the diocesan radio show Catholic Education Plus, said their students and faculty are proud of their bishop-alumni and 83 other graduates who have dedicated their lives to serving in religious communities.

“We offer an authentically Catholic education and our mission is to help prepare students for a life where they can realize heaven,” Martin told host Father Tom Burke. “We invite them to be a part of our ministry program and (participating) in Mass. They’re writing and leading our daily school prayer.”

Catholic Education Plus airs Sunday Nov. 21 at 6:30 a.m. on KDKA-AM. Following the broadcast the show will be available at:

Martin said teachers and staff focus on demonstrating the school motto of “In Faith and Charity” by trying to be role models of Christ the Teacher. They work to build a faith community where students have opportunities to discuss their faith openly and perform acts of service.”

“It’s not just about service in the community, but sometimes within our own families that we’re living charitably as a way to realize their personal call to holiness,” Martin said.

Seton LaSalle is also one of six Catholic high schools in the diocese that partners with the Crossroads Foundation. The nonprofit provides promising youth who have limited options access to a quality Catholic high school education by nurturing their academic and personal growth so they are prepared to succeed in college and in life.

Martin and Osterhaus told Father Burke that Crossroads offers strong support and more inner-city youth continue to enroll and succeed.